Bush appointees Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Allito are considered conservative success stories moving the court to the right, though the balance is not lost. Obama could maintain a fair balance between conservatives and progressives. It is a future dependent on who prevails in November.
Obama, supported by a strongly Democratic Senate, could be presented with three openings during his first term: Justices Stevens (88), Ginsburg (75), and Souter (69) will likely retire over the next four years.
The court is roughly balanced on important constitutional issues, with four consistent conservatives, four liberals and Justice Kennedy in the middle - but who leans right on many issues. Replacing liberals Stevens, Ginsburg and Souter with similar-minded justices would infuse the left wing of the court with younger leadership but leave the basic balance intact.
Even if McCain wins - God forbid - it would be impossible for him to get somebody who's extremely conservative confirmed in a Democratic Senate. McCain's best bet would be to appoint someone moderate, however, there is no certainty. Blue Dog Democrats in the Senate could lean too far right for the public good.
No matter what the Supreme Court is another vital concern when voting this November. Our three elder jurists probably won't be able to wait out another four years of Republican rule. Please help yourself - and them - and vote for Obama next month.
Monday's Political Opinion #2 - Michael